“I’m hungry for greatness,” Tyler, the Creator once said.

His early career demonstrated that he didn’t want to conform to industry standards in order to fulfill his dreams. Per TeachRock, the internet was the starting point of his career and led to his involvement in Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, more commonly known as Odd Future, a music collective formed in 2007.

The group also featured Frank Ocean, Matt Martians, Pyramid Vritra, Casey Veggies, and Earl Sweatshirt, among others.

“When I made Odd Future, I was onto something,” Tyler told GQ Style in 2018. “Just the energy that it brought in and the people that came around. We have our Internets now, we have our Earls, we have our Franks, we have our me’s, and I just think that’s really cool. I was just thinking about that the other day. I was listening to some old stuff and I was like: That’s cool.”

The year 2008 marked the release of the collective’s first mixtape, “The Odd Future Tape.” For Tyler, it wasn’t only his work in Odd Future that drew the attention of the industry, but also his mixtape “Bastard” (2009) and the single “Yonkers” (2010).

In 2011, Tyler formed Odd Future Records, in partnership with RED Distribution/Sony, to release more projects from the collective, according to Pitchfork.

HipHopMadness reported that at the height of the group’s success, Tyler had made outlandish demands of music executives interested in signing the group. He allegedly even refused a conversation with Rick Ross, who was supposedly interested in signing him around 2011, according to a recollection from Nick Diamond, the co-founder of Diamond Supply Co.

“Rick Ross called me out of nowhere and was like, ‘Yo, what’s up with Odd Future? I wanna talk to that Tyler kid. I want to sign him,'” Diamond told Complex, according to HipHopDX.

“It was funny, ’cause when he called me, Tyler was actually in the store, standing next to me. So I was like, ‘Rick Ross wants to talk to you.’ Tyler goes, ‘I don’t want to talk to Rick Ross.’ I was like, ‘Dude, just fu–ing talk to him.’ He was like, ‘Nah. I can’t talk right now.’ So I didn’t put him on the phone. But so many people I knew from the music industry started calling me about Tyler.”

That same year, Tyler, 19, signed a one-album deal with British label XL Recordings, the label behind Radiohead, per Los Angeles Times. He would retain “full creative control” and was told he would receive his master recordings back.

His first studio album “Goblin” was released under the label, and contained the single “Yonkers.” Tyler was also a main producer on the project, a role he has continued to hold with his music today.

However, “Goblin” didn’t impress Tyler, who called it “horrible” in hindsight.

“I think Goblin is horrible,” he said, according to the GQ Style article. “The only songs I would keep from Goblin are ‘Yonkers,’ ‘She,’ ‘Nightmare,’ ‘Tron Cat,’ ‘Fish,’ ‘Analog,’ and ‘Au79.’”

Nonetheless, the album would lead Tyler to earn “Best New Artist” at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, and “Yonkers” went Gold, Genius reports.

Tyler’s next albums were “Wolf” (2013), “Cherry Bomb” (2015), and “Flower Boy” (2017) under Columbia Records, where Tyler continues to maintain full creative control, per DJBooth.

His album “Flower Boy” took the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 and snagged a Grammy nomination for “Best Rap Album.”

The album is often referred to as a milepost in Tyler’s career and showed a more personal side to his audience.


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His first Grammy award would be earned in 2020 for his fifth studio album “IGOR” (2019). He took home the award for “Best Rap Album,” which he would later repeat at the 2022 Grammy Awards with “Call Me If You Get Lost”(2021).